Day by Day

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Kim du Toit was right. By now, if you haven't heard the flap over Kim du Toit's essay, it would be a good time to check it out. And as Curmudgeonly & Skeptical points out, it wasn't exactly an accident.

Most historians agree that modern feminism began in 1963, with the publication of a bestselling book called The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. The conventional account holds that Friedan was a suburban housewife who became bored with her life, realizing that her marriage was nothing more than a "comfortable concentration camp." Three years later, in 1966, she founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) and became its first president. Friedan's struggle to break free of the deadening routine of childrearing and housekeeping was held up as an example for other women to follow.

Sound familiar? This is the start of when women were lied to, by other women. The big lie was "You can have it all." And as much as people want to believe that, it's a lie. You can't have it all. Nobody can, unless you're fabulously rich or the relative of someone who is. Sacrifices have to be made in every aspect of life. I would love to have a new car. I would love to go out and buy a new pistol, and have my home armory. I would love to take month-long trips across this nation. But I can't. Attaining your goals requires hard work. Years of it. For both men and women.

But I digress. The author uncovers several repulsive facts about Friedan, and deconstructs her entire life.

Friedan later married a fellow leftist, Carl Friedan, and devoted her life to the cause of Marxist revolution. Friedan spent her married years working as a "labor journalist", a professional propagandist for the Left. Her full-time maid did the housework. As her ex-husband Carl later noted, Friedan "was in the world during the whole marriage" and "seldom was a wife and mother."

Doesn't sound like much of a marriage to begin with, if you ask me. I guess that whole "housewife" thing never bothered her, because she never experienced it. In fact, when you look at Friedan's writings, you can see exactly where they come from.

In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had shocked the world by calling for the abolition of marriage and family, which they viewed as oppressive institutions. They wrote:

What is the present family based on? On capitalism, the acquisition of private property. It exists in all of its meaning only for the bourgeoisie, and will vanish when capitalism vanishes. Are you accusing us that we want to end the exploitation by parents of their children? We confess to that crime?The bourgeois sees in his wife nothing but an instrument of production.

Doesn't look to good, does it? While I hesitate to say that the entire feminist movement is based on this ideology, it's not far removed. But what happens when women take Friedan's advice?

In the November 19, 1990 issue of Newsweek, a freelance writer named Kay Eberling ruffled many left-wing feathers with a column entitled, "The Failure of Feminism." She wrote:

To me, feminism has backfired against women. In 1973 I left what could have been a perfectly good marriage, taking with me a child in diapers, a 10-year-old Plymouth and Volume 1, Number One of Ms. Magazine. I was convinced I could make it on my own. In the last 15 years my ex has married or lived with a succession of women. As he gets older, his women stay in their mid-20s. Meanwhile, I've stayed unattached. He drives a BMW. I ride buses.

Eberling had accepted the feminist teaching that men were disposable, easily replaceable, and perhaps not even necessary. But in practice, it turned out to be women who were left out in the cold, once men were released from the traditional obligation to protect and provide for them.

My girlfriend is one of the strongest women I know. She could be out there, making a living on her own, and she did so for years. Several members of my family have done the same. And they have all come to the same conclusion. Being "free and empowered" is a load of horseshit. Not only that, but the feminist movement released men from their obligations. If you tell a man that he's nothing but a sperm donor, then fine, that's all he's going to be. But to then turn around and scream "Act like a man and take responsibility for yourself!" doesn't work. You've already turned the guy loose. Does that make the guy right? No. A man should step up to the plate and take responsibility, no matter what. But you have an entire generation of men who have been told, by the feminist movement, that they're useless. Women don't need them. And so they have acted with that knowledge in mind. They have become "pussified".

More to the point, angry young men deprived of a father's discipline, bursting with hormones and unrestrained by traditional notions of courtship, marriage and "gentlemanly" conduct run wild in the streets, wreaking exactly the sort of violence, havoc and chaos that dictators need to justify their crackdowns.

The modern feminist movement has been a huge force in tearing down the traditional constraints placed on men. My father impressed upon me a code of conduct which I try to follow to this day, with the occasional slip-up. I don't see many fathers doing that with their sons, if the fathers are there at all. When you take away the male figure in a boy's life, you take away the main figurehead which he bases himself on. And that leads to teens who don't have that code of conduct impressed on them.

We can see the results. Just turn on the news.

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